May 16, 2016

Six Reasons Privileged Patrick Murphy Is Having A Case Of The Mondays

As Floridians return to work recharged and relaxed after the weekend, Patrick Murphy awoke to a miserable Monday. News of a new FEC complaint alleging unlawful coordination with his Super PAC became the latest in a slew of bad headlines for his senate bid. Politico Florida Playbook reported:

MURPHY MONEY TARGETED – The conservative Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust has filed an FEC complaint alleging “Murphy’s super PAC has been primarily funded by Murphy’s own company and a family member with whom he has financial ties, which appears to be unlawful coordination between a candidate and his super PAC…

“In April 2015, Floridians was formed as a super PAC to support Murphy’s candidacy for U.S. Senate. Since registering with the FEC, Floridians has been primarily funded by entities and individuals directly tied to Murphy. One $300,000 donation came from Murphy’s own family business, Coastal Construction Group, of which Murphy owns between $1,000,001 and $5,000,000 of the company. Murphy’s father, Thomas P, Murphy, Jr., who is the CEO of Coastal Construction and financially tied to Murphy, has donated an additional $200,000 to the super PAC. As of Floridians’ last FEC filing, these two donations make up over half of all contributions made to the super PAC.”

The complaint became the sixth (!) separate controversy to dog Murphy’s campaign in as many days. Here’s a rundown of the other scandals and scathing headlines giving Privileged Patrick a major case of the Mondays:

Domestic Violence Donor  – On Thursday, May 12th, news broke that Murphy had been forced to return thousands of dollars donated to his campaigns by his “longtime friend,” Ibrahim Al-Rashid, who pled guilty to assaulting his wife in 2014. The Hill reported that Murphy refused to return the $100,000 that Al-Rashid had donated to his 2012 Super PAC.

The story got worse for Murphy on Saturday, when The Hill reported that the Harry Reid-linked Senate Majority PAC was returning $100,000 from Al-Rashid that had been given this cycle, and raised questions about whether the money had been intended to benefit Murphy.

Felon Funds – Later that very same day, Murphy was forced to announce he was returning more campaign cash from ANOTHER tainted donor – Babulal Bera, the father of Murphy’s fellow Democrat, Rep. Ami Bera (CA-07), who pled guilty to felony campaign finance violations for a money-laundering scheme. Included in the TC Palm’s report was that Murphy’s parents and Bera were involved in a shady donor swap back in 2014.

Daddy’s “Muscle” – A Friday Tampa Bay Times exposé on Privileged Pat’s relationship with his top backer – his multimillionaire father – featured a series of answers to tough questions from Murphy that defied credulity. Murphy “projected ignorance” about his blatant solicitation of Super PAC spending, “played down” his votes for a controversial visa program that directly benefitted his family business, and claimed he “did not recall” a 2014 meeting with a Chinese visa lawyer, during which he posed for a photograph. That’s a lot of memory lapses for a young Congressman.

Perplexed Patrick – Color him confused. In a Tampa Bay Times follow-up story published Saturday, Murphy claimed to be “unaware” of major projects involving his family business – which he owns a stake in. One major project just happened to stand to benefit from Murphy’s vote in favor of the EB-5 visa program – as did business ventures of several of his major donors.

Super PAC Struggles – In case anyone had been off the grid all weekend, Politico kicked of Monday morning with a story rounding up the many reasons Murphy’s Super PACs have become a massive “liability” for his campaign. Perhaps realizing his previous efforts at spin had backfired badly, both Murphy and his Super PAC refused to comment.

Privileged Patrick shows no signs of backing away from his hypocritical reliance on outside spending and scandal-prone sources of campaign cash, so this is unlikely to be the last Monday he wakes up to brutal headlines.